King George Watch

Do the president and vice-president have the power to declassify top-secret information, even putting operatives in danger, in order to pursue political push-back? Cheney believes so. Money quote:

"Cheney said an executive order gives him, and President Bush, power to declassify information. 'I have certainly advocated declassification. I have participated in declassification decisions,' Cheney said. Asked for details, he said, 'I don't want to get into that. There's an executive order that specifies who has classification authority, and obviously it focuses first and foremost on the president, but also includes the vice president.'"

This may well be part of Libby's defense, if he were to be accused of actually breaking the law in revealing classified information (as opposed to obstruction of justice and perjury). When a courtier is carrying out the wishes of a monarch, no law against disclosing classified information can hold him liable.